07 September 2008

Day 6: Munich–Starnberg

I spent an hour and a half at Absofort restaurant writing on my NEO while having a few cocktails. The dim light made typing a bit difficult, since the NEO doesn't have a self-illuminating screen (that would drain its batteries too fast, and the long-staying power is one of this machine's biggest draws), but I loved the café ambience and felt for a moment like a Lost Generation writer—if the Lost Generation had gotten so lost that they ended up in southern Germany instead of Paris.

With the morning, I once again faced one of the notorious Bavarian weather shifts. Yesterday's sun, warmth, and glorious Bayerische skies morphed into gray clouds, wind, and rain. It was an indoor café day.

Colleen and I and two of her friends from the school where her husband teaches (he stayed home to get some work done) headed into downtown Munich to go to the Café am Beethoven Platz, a popular jazz restaurant with a nineteenth century Bohemian flair. A live combo played gypsy jazz, and performed two of my favorite pieces: "Undecided" and "Deep Purple." It's strange to order brunch with beer, but that's nothing unusual here in Bavaria. All the brunch specials are named after musicians; I ordered the Gershwin, the fancy name for bacon n' eggs, plus a Ruß'n, which is similar to a Radler, except the lemon soda is mixed with Weißbier instead of Helles. I'm trying to keep my beer-drinking options open, but tomorrow I'm heading to Slovenia and it will be all wine country—time to practice liking wine.
Colleen's friends headed home after brunch, but I wanted to take a short trip over to Odeonplatz, my favorite of the many plazas in Munich, for a brief stop. I was glad to see that, like the Neues Rathaus, the Theatinerkirche has had its ugly scaffolding removed since my last visit so I could get a decent picture of it. I also got a photo of me posing with the statue of the Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, in the Feldhernhalle at the end of Odeonplatz. Tilly was the main general for the Imperial forces in the Thirty Years' War, and died from wounds sustained in combat with Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus's forces in 1632 at the Battle of Rain. Because of my fascination with the Thirty Years' War, Tilly is an important figure to me, so I insisted Colleen photograph me with his statue.
By this time, Diego had started to get fussy and Colleen was tired of hearing her brother babble about the Thirty Years' War, so we took the train back to Starnberg. Tonight I'm prepping for the next big adventure: going to Slovenia tomorrow. Washing clothes, packing, finishing up this blog, and doing my last polish on my few Slovene phrases. And it's also the last night I'll get to spend with my new nephew until December (excepting one night when I pass through Munich on the way back to L.A.). By then he will have already grown so much that he'll hardly be anything like the baby I know now. It's difficult knowing that I'll only see Diego grow up in stages with long vanishings in between.
The evening concluded at Absofort again, as I sat with my Munich family (my sister, my beautiful little nephew, and the new in-laws) and talked and drank… Radler. Of course.

On to Republika Slovenija. Hope these phrases hold up. Se vidiva.

Lastly, Godzilla loves Diego: